Jump to content
Davybe

All Freedom Dining on Iona

Recommended Posts

I do not have any inside knowledge but having read through the details several times I would make a guess at 5 free dining venues and 10 that have some sort of charge some of the time.  I have counted the four main dining rooms as one in this calculation as they will serve the same food in the same way.

Something else I noticed was the frequent use of words like "informal", "relaxed" and "fun", so wonder if they are getting ready to do away with formal nights.  The blurb does say they will continue to have "Gala Nights" but no mention of "Formal" anywhere...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, afcandrew said:

I do not have any inside knowledge but having read through the details several times I would make a guess at 5 free dining venues and 10 that have some sort of charge some of the time.  I have counted the four main dining rooms as one in this calculation as they will serve the same food in the same way.

Something else I noticed was the frequent use of words like "informal", "relaxed" and "fun", so wonder if they are getting ready to do away with formal nights.  The blurb does say they will continue to have "Gala Nights" but no mention of "Formal" anywhere...

Gala nights are only mentioned in connection with the MDRs.

I hope that doesn't mean the loss of ship wide formal wear requirements, ie certain venues adhering to the dress code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, HthrEdmndsn said:

Gala nights are only mentioned in connection with the MDRs.

I hope that doesn't mean the loss of ship wide formal wear requirements, ie certain venues adhering to the dress code.

With the number of venues described as fun, informal and family-friendly, I am guessing that the Dress Code will, at the very least, be diluted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

think they may be going down the same route as on Cunard where they changed and call formal evening Gala nights but dress code hasnt really changed.

Hope so. But without club dining I probably won't be finding out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Pesky Pirate said:

Knowing p and o all of them ūüėĪ

They already have plenty of pay to eat places on Britannia , Some places you pay for the cake and the Coffee/Tea.

Love the "Keel and Cow" sounds a nice title for a place to eat that perfect steak? ....Davybe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, HthrEdmndsn said:

Gala nights are only mentioned in connection with the MDRs.

I hope that doesn't mean the loss of ship wide formal wear requirements, ie certain venues adhering to the dress code.

Love it or hate it I genuinely believe the days of dressing up are disappearing as fast as snow in August. Yes, there are the hardcore who like dressing up but they are very much in a minority and I say that from spending a lot of time on ships belonging to different cruise companies. Cruising to many is nothing special,  just another holiday and they want to relax. To some it is a drop in standards whilst to others dressing up on holiday is the last thing they want to do. Last evening I was at a travel awards ceremony and had the opportunity to speak with many in the travel industry and whilst they agree there is a market for 'Formal Night' they also acknowledge casual is the way forward. I know some will disagree but you only have to look at how things have changed in the last 10 years and the number of top cruise lines who have relaxed the dress code. If relaxation wasn't needed, they wouldn't have done it, they have gone with the majority view. As always, just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One problem with reduced or non existent formal nights for us men is that we will have to think about increasing our wardrobe, 4 extra lots of casual clothing to replace our tuxedos and white shirts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Love it or hate it I genuinely believe the days of dressing up are disappearing as fast as snow in August. Yes, there are the hardcore who like dressing up but they are very much in a minority and I say that from spending a lot of time on ships belonging to different cruise companies. Cruising to many is nothing special,  just another holiday and they want to relax. To some it is a drop in standards whilst to others dressing up on holiday is the last thing they want to do. Last evening I was at a travel awards ceremony and had the opportunity to speak with many in the travel industry and whilst they agree there is a market for 'Formal Night' they also acknowledge casual is the way forward. I know some will disagree but you only have to look at how things have changed in the last 10 years and the number of top cruise lines who have relaxed the dress code. If relaxation wasn't needed, they wouldn't have done it, they have gone with the majority view. As always, just my opinion.

I have to say I think you are most probably right. I took a look at the email P&O sent with a glimpse of Iona. It looks very impressive unfortunately there is a capacity for over 3000 more passengers than I prefer to travel with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Love it or hate it I genuinely believe the days of dressing up are disappearing as fast as snow in August. Yes, there are the hardcore who like dressing up but they are very much in a minority and I say that from spending a lot of time on ships belonging to different cruise companies. Cruising to many is nothing special,  just another holiday and they want to relax. To some it is a drop in standards whilst to others dressing up on holiday is the last thing they want to do. Last evening I was at a travel awards ceremony and had the opportunity to speak with many in the travel industry and whilst they agree there is a market for 'Formal Night' they also acknowledge casual is the way forward. I know some will disagree but you only have to look at how things have changed in the last 10 years and the number of top cruise lines who have relaxed the dress code. If relaxation wasn't needed, they wouldn't have done it, they have gone with the majority view. As always, just my opinion.

Spot on OWT. I couldn't agree more.

I'd add that it wouldn't surprise me if a name change to Gala evenings instead of Formal Evenings is in the pipeline. I think P&O as well as many other cruise lines are trying to do all they can to address the elephants in the room for many first time cruisers. The potential market is huge but many are put off by the age-old perceptions of cruise holidays being stuffy, over-organised and far from relaxing. Cruise lines are having to make signigicant changes to their previous ways of doing things in order to move with the times and meet the demands of a huge number of people that are still tinkering with the idea of trying their first cruise.

I mentioned cabin choices being a "put off" in another thread recently too when compared with booking a land-based stay. I've noticed more and more cruise lines adopting the terms 'ocean-view' or 'sea-view' cabins when talking about outside staterooms. The word 'outside' seems to be dissapearing because for many, it's too ambiguous and therefore the new terms fall more in line with what you'd see when booking a land-based hotel stay.

Like it or not, they're having to make such changes to meet the demands of the majority of the modern day market. I still think there's potential for P&O to do more in splitting their fleet but whether that will happen, only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Davybe said:

They already have plenty of pay to eat places on Britannia , Some places you pay for the cake and the Coffee/Tea.

Love the "Keel and Cow" sounds a nice title for a place to eat that perfect steak? ....Davybe

Definitely Surf and Turf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sammy sun said:

 

I mentioned cabin choices being a "put off" in another thread recently too when compared with booking a land-based stay. I've noticed more and more cruise lines adopting the terms 'ocean-view' or 'sea-view' cabins when talking about outside staterooms. The word 'outside' seems to be dissapearing because for many, it's too ambiguous and therefore the new terms fall more in line with what you'd see when booking a land-based hotel stay.

Like it or not, they're having to make such changes to meet the demands of the majority of the modern day market. I still think there's potential for P&O to do more in splitting their fleet but whether that will happen, only time will tell.

To me 'outside cabin' means a cabin on the outside & thus with a window with some sort of a view whereas 'seaview cabin' means one with a clear sea view not a restricted or part restricted sea view so it could be more misleading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd imagine they'll add "restricted" or "obstructed" to the cabins that are not clear sea views. Of course, it's all a matter of opinions but it wouldn't surprise me to see these changes made to fall more in line with land-stay terminology.

An outside cabin is understood by people that have cruised before but for the many that haven't they don't understand what "outside" means, which then requires them to look it up to find out. All of which takes them further away from doing what cruise lines want them to do, which is obviously commit to a booking. The less obstacles in place, the more booking they'll get so it wouldn't surprise me to see more subtle changes like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not a fan of freedom dining, first experienced it many years ago on ncl and was a pain, as a single traveller i dont want to be stuck on a table in a corner on my own. yet they insisted thats what i got most of the time. also many nights was given an alarm to let me know when or sometimes if  a table was available.

it seemed to be the same on arcadia last year, a couple that frequented the casino had their alarm with them and were waiting over 2 hours several times.

so i wont be booking her any time soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it's another marmite of the cruising world. You either love it or you hate it.

Since I tried Freedom Dining for the first time in 2008, I've loved it and opted for that choice at every opportunity since. I love not being confined to a specific sitting time and the overall flexibility of it suits me down to the ground.

I understand that it's not for everyone and there are still many pros to sitting times, especially the opportunity to get familiar with your waiting staff and get to know them better as well as them getting to know you. That said, I still prefer the open seating option. I am however, suprised to see them do away with sittings altogether on Iona. I presumed they would retain it for one restaurant but if they're trying to really target the new-to-cruise market then I can see the rationale behind it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, HthrEdmndsn said:

Definitely Surf and Turf

The Keel And Cow (Deck 8)

A P&O Cruises first, The Keel and Cow is an unpretentious gastropub where food and drink have been crafted into something truly special.

Perfect for a quick and convenient breakfast for anyone going ashore or lunchtimes for absolute top-quality, authentic gastropub fare to the fore, with dishes such as a signature beef and stout burger, beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips, black-pudding scotch eggs.

At night, guests can gather for a range of steaks from the dry-ageing fridge and views over the Grand Atrium or out to sea, or even to the chefs at work in the open galley, The Keel and Cow is the perfect place to bring people together in a relaxed, informal environment.

Taken from another web site, Wonder what sort of breakfast you get, and assume lunch and diner will be pay to eat....Davybe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Davybe said:

The Keel And Cow (Deck 8)

A P&O Cruises first, The Keel and Cow is an unpretentious gastropub where food and drink have been crafted into something truly special.

Perfect for a quick and convenient breakfast for anyone going ashore or lunchtimes for absolute top-quality, authentic gastropub fare to the fore, with dishes such as a signature beef and stout burger, beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips, black-pudding scotch eggs.

At night, guests can gather for a range of steaks from the dry-ageing fridge and views over the Grand Atrium or out to sea, or even to the chefs at work in the open galley, The Keel and Cow is the perfect place to bring people together in a relaxed, informal environment.

Taken from another web site, Wonder what sort of breakfast you get, and assume lunch and diner will be pay to eat....Davybe

Fish finger sandwiches for breakfast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

√ó